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What is next in the world of the workplace cafeteria?

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

The clock strikes one in the afternoon, a flurry of people pour into the cafeteria where lunch is served. The clock strikes two, plates are cleared, counters are closed, goodbyes are exchanged, and the people disperse. What did we just describe? A school, a university, or a workplace cafeteria?

The answer to that, like you would have guessed, is all three. It’s the generic idea of how a typical cafeteria functions. It’s the one that has been in place for decades, time to revisit? We think so.

Ushering in a new era of workplace cafeteria

Digital Cafeterias

Digital cafeteria

Many companies are redefining traditional cafeteria spaces to pave the way for a more intuitive space that caters to the personalized needs of their employees. After all, a tummy full has proven time and again to be the secret to a happy life. And when it comes to a workplace, access to good food has proven to boost employee morale and productivity.

Currently, the majority of workplace cafeterias are run traditionally, they often end up with long queues, poorly managed orders, and limit themselves to a certain number of hours only. While technology has seeped into every aspect of work and life, changing the workplace landscape, why have only cafeterias remained untouched? Nevertheless, it’s never too late to begin.

So, what do workplace cafeterias need to consider while undertaking the transformation?

1. Offering convenience

SmartQ App

Convenience tops the list of every list we draw out under innovation. We constantly evolve to arrive at more convenient solutions to the problems at hand. When it comes to food, it’s no different. Consumer brands over the last couple of years have adopted technology to bring food, on-demand, offer up a variety of options, conjure easy-to-eat takeaways, and are most importantly available.

Employees expect the same level of convenience from their workplace in terms of the fully functional cafeteria, which caters to a variety of needs and is available as per their convenience as opposed to “strict lunch hours” only. Convenience also comes in the form of not waiting in long queues and being able to place advance orders.

Digital Cafeterias offer the option of easy food delivery with cashless transactions. Employees can place an order through secure mobile applications whilst at their desks, see their order’s status in real-time, and head over to the cafeteria to collect it as soon as it is ready.

2. Being flexible

Convenient Ordering

Workplace cafeterias first and foremost need to offer flexible time options if not be available 24×7. If your company has employees that work round the clock, access to food at all times is a must. We all know now that the standard three meals a day are no longer an ideal form of diet. One must space out their meals and eat five to six times a day to ensure healthy digestion and keep gas at bay.

These flexible time options will help employees satisfy their food cravings without often having to depend on external agencies. Offer the same seamless experience in-house, keeping in mind the health and happiness of your employees.

3. Creating inspiring spaces

Employee Engagement

When it comes to workplace food havens, Google tops the list. With free-for-all food available round the clock, Google ensures that the one thing that never stops flowing is good food. So, what made Google take such a strong impactful stand on food availability? Two things – great ideas and great health. According to Forbes, Google offers round-the-clock free food to inspire innovative thinking. Food spaces are specifically designed to encourage employees to leave their desks. Most of these food sources are strategically placed between two separate work teams, and the goal of that placement is to draw these different folks together and nudge them to interact and collaborate.

And great health? That goes without saying. Google wants their employees, happy and healthy. Towards this, they offer a great variety of healthy food options and encourage employees to consume their greens.

4. Prioritising safety

Cafeteria Safety Protocols

Amidst the global pandemic, everyone’s number one priority is the safety of oneself and others around. While companies are slowly opening re-opening doors to their employees, workplace safety becomes a crucial aspect. Human Resources managers have strategized the opening to include safe working distances, sanitized environments, flexible shifts, and moved the majority of the operations online.

Cafeteria operations, in the process, often get left out of the strategizing or are sadly closed down altogether due to safety concerns. Apart from the due diligence of ensuring sanitization and safety in food preparation, a digital cafeteria could further reduce contact by eliminating queues. Cashless transactions also further contribute to a contactless experience, assuring employees that their safety is of utmost importance.

The transition to a contactless workplace with a digital cafeteria can be achieved seamlessly with the right technology partners. SmartQ pioneers in developing a complete suite to innovate corporate cafeterias. With integrated payments and multiple ordering, intimation, and informational channels, SmartQ has ushered in a revolution that is here to stay for a long time to come. Get in touch with us today to transform your cafeteria.

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